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How to manage self-generated forum licenses


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How do companies such as vBulletin and WoltLab manage licenses given to users for the software they've bought? In other words, how do they know you've actually bought a license for the software and distinguish between "nulled" and "legit" software (that is, forums)? Obviously they do it somehow, otherwise the business model of distributing PHP-based forum software wouldn't bring in any revenue. Does it have to do with PHP, and can you implement a certain check within the software that communicates back to the licenser? 

Edited by CodeAndCoffee
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can you implement a certain check within the software that communicates back to the licenser

PHP is a programming language, you can build whatever you like.


Where I used to work our systems used to check-in with our management console hourly. The console was responsible for managing licenses. Many different ways to do this though.

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I guess I should have mentioned that with the system I spoke of above, we also managed all our clients servers as well as part of the system so there is no way for them really to manipulate the code to gain a license.


And yeah, you guessed it. Because PHP code is sitting there in plain view there is very little you can do to prevent people from manipulating the code in some way to get around the license. You can try and hide it, but thats about it. You just need to make sure when a breach is detected, you are in a position to go after compensation for it.

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